Promising Practices in Veterans' Education: Outcomes and Recommendations from the Success for Veterans Award Grants

Education and Literacy;Peace and Conflict

Promising Practices in Veterans' Education: Outcomes and Recommendations from the Success for Veterans Award Grants

This is an evaluation of the Success for Veterans Awards program, and includes reports from 20 grantees.

October 2011

Geographic Focus: North America-United States (Midwestern)-Missouri-Platte County-Parkville;North America-United States (Midwestern)-Wisconsin-Dane County-Madison;North America-United States (New York Metropolitan Area);North America-United States (Northeastern)-Maine-Kennebec County-Augusta;North America-United States (Northeastern)-New Jersey-Bergen County;North America-United States (Northeastern)-New York-Onandaga County;North America-United States (Northwestern)-Oregon-Clackamas County;North America-United States (Northwestern)-Oregon-Lane County-Eugene;North America-United States (Southern)-Maryland-Prince George;North America-United States (Southern)-South Carolina;North America-United States (Western)-California-Fresno County-Fresno;North America-United States (Western)-California-Los Angeles County;North America-United States (Western)-California-Sacramento County-Sacramento;North America-United States (Western)-California-San Diego County-Chula Vista;North America-United States (Western)-California-Santa Cruz County;North America-United States (Western)-Colorado-Larimer County-Fort Collins

More Efficient High Schools in Maine: Emerging Student-Centered Learning Communities

Education and Literacy

More Efficient High Schools in Maine: Emerging Student-Centered Learning Communities

American K-12 public education all across the nation is at a difficult and critical crossroads. We are at a time when keen global competition underscores the need for exceptional performance in our primary and secondary schools. Yet, state and federal governments face unprecedented budget deficits and limited resources for the foreseeable future. Additionally, our schools are being called upon to do an even better job of preparing students for the 21st century. There is growing evidence that success in the 21st Century requires more than what has traditionally been the content of schooling. It requires more and different types of knowledge, skills, and learning.

To help students acquire this knowledge base and skills, many educators and leaders are calling for transformative changes in our schools and changes in how we help students learn. This transformative change is called by many names: performance-based learning, standards-based learning, and student-centered learning. The Nellie Mae Education Foundation (NMEF) describes this transformation to more student-centered learning as the need for:

... growing a greater variety of higher quality educational opportunities that enable all learners -- especially and essentially underserved learners -- to obtain the skills, knowledge and supports necessary to become civically engaged, economically self-sufficient lifelong learners. (2011)

Can our schools be transformed to meet these challenges? More importantly, can they be high performing, efficient, and student-centered at the same time? To explore these questions, the Center for Education Policy, Applied Research, and Evaluation at the University of Southern Maine conducted a study in 2010-2011 of a sample of Maine high schools. Funded in part by the Nellie Mae Education Foundation, the study examined the degree to which these More Efficient high schools were also student-centered.

In 2010, NMEF identified some of the key principles and attributes of studentcentered learning. The principles are that:

  1. Student-centered education systems provide all students equal access to the skills and knowledge needed for college and career readiness in today's world.
  2. Student-centered education systems align with current research on the learning process and motivation.
  3. Student-centered education systems focus on mastery of skills and knowledge.
  4. Student-centered education systems build student's identities through a positive culture with a foundation of strong relationships and high expectations.
  5. Student-centered education systems empower and support parents, teachers, administrators, and other community members to encourage and guide learners through their educational journey.

The key attributes are that:

  1. Curriculum, instruction and assessment embrace the skills and knowledge needed for success.
  2. Community assets are harnessed to support and deepen learning experiences.
  3. Time is used flexibly and includes learning opportunities outside the traditional school day and year.
  4. Mastery-based strategies are employed to allow for pacing based on proficiency in skills and knowledge.

The goal of the study reported here was to determine to what extent these principles and attributes may be found in the high schools. To that end, once a sample of More Efficient high schools was identified, the beliefs, strategies, and practices found in these schools were examined in light of the 2010 NMEF key principles and attributes.

December 2012

Geographic Focus: North America-United States (Northeastern)-Maine

Educated Workforce for a 21st Century Economy: Public Policy Opportunities for Higher Education in Maine, An

Education and Literacy;Employment and Labor;Government Reform

Educated Workforce for a 21st Century Economy: Public Policy Opportunities for Higher Education in Maine, An

Recommends policies to raise postsecondary education attainment rates and incomes by aligning higher education with workforce needs, expanding financial access to and state support for colleges, and providing multiple pathways. Lists promising practices.

September 2010

Geographic Focus: North America-United States (Northeastern)-Maine

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